Notebook: Georgia’s Shawn Williams downplays his ’soft’ comments, keeps focus on Tech

Georgia strong safety Shawn Williams (36) intercepts a pass intended for Orwin Smith during last year's game at Georgia Tech. Williams' "soft" comments are credited for reinvigorating the Bulldogs' defense this season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia strong safety Shawn Williams (36) intercepts a pass intended for Orwin Smith during last year's game at Georgia Tech. Williams' "soft" comments are credited for reinvigorating the Bulldogs' defense this season. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

By RYAN BLACK
For the AJC

ATHENS — Shawn Williams doesn’t want anyone to say he saved Georgia’s season.

The Bulldogs’ senior strong safety said Monday night the defense was always capable of playing the way it has for the last four weeks, during which it has allowed only 33 points. Speaking to reporters for the first time since Oct. 22 — when he made his now-famous comments about the defense playing “soft” — Williams says he’s ready to move on.

“I don’t care if it got everybody stirred up or whatnot, but we’re looking past that now,” he said after Monday’s practice. “We’ve got Georgia Tech, so we’ve got to go out and get another win so we can keep them rolling.”

Williams acknowledged the Bulldogs’ defense is “playing really good ball now,” but says there are still areas they needs to shore up.

“There’s always room for improvement,” he said. “That’s what we’ve got to look at now. Take film of our previous games and see where we made mistakes and just get better so we don’t make those mistakes this week or the week after.”

Williams was pleased with the defense’s showing against Georgia Southern’s option offense. The Bulldogs gave up 302 rushing yards, but Williams felt the more pertinent statistic was the Eagles advanced into the red zone just twice and came away with only one touchdown.

“That’s the most important thing,” he said. “Getting stops when it’s critical, when you have to have them.”

The day after his “soft” comments went viral, Georgia coach Mark Richt noted Williams was not pleased with the way his remarks had been interpreted and had not meant for them to come across as harshly as they sounded. When asked what he regretted about the remarks, the senior strong safety couldn’t recall.

“There were a whole lot of things spinning back and forth,” he said. “I’m not really trying to look into the past and say I regret this or that.”

Though Williams refused to take credit for the uptick in the defense’s play, he was named a captain for Saturday’s game, which happens to come Senior Day. But he scoffed at an assertion that his rant could go down as Georgia’s version of Tim Tebow’s postgame “promise” following the Florida’s loss to Ole Miss in 2008.

The Gators did not lose a game the rest of the season, which culminated in a national championship victory over Oklahoma. Two months later, then-Florida coach Urban Meyer had the text of the speech engraved on a plaque outside the front entrance of the team’s football facility.

“Yeah,” Williams joked. “Maybe I can get a plaque.”

Georgia Tech offense feels ‘like déjà vu’

At the conclusion of its annual rivalry game with Georgia Tech each season, Georgia can breath a sigh of relief. Its once-a-year attempt to stifle the triple option complete, the Bulldogs can go back to focusing on defending more conventional offensive schemes. But after playing Georgia Southern’s version of the triple option last Saturday, Georgia defenders feel they have only reached the halfway point as they prepare for Tech.

“It’s definitely like déjà vu,” inside linebacker Mike Gilliard said. “It’s just another week where we have to defeat the cut block and make tackles on the perimeter. That’s our focus right now.”

Noseguard John Jenkins agreed.

“It’s the same type of offense,” he said of Tech’s triple option. “They have their own style, their own swagger, but it’s the same thing, getting cut and trying to stop the run.”

Trying to stop the run won’t be the only thing the Bulldogs have to contend with Saturday. During his teleconference on Sunday, Richt praised the gains he has seen from the Yellow Jackets’ passing game.

That meant little to Jordan Jenkins. The freshman outside linebacker has little hope he’ll be able to notch a sack Saturday.

“I think they’re just going to run it,” he said. “They may take a shot deep every now and then, but sack-wise, I’ve given up even worrying about it.”

Bulldogs apply varying approaches to last Saturday’s upsets

Senior linebacker Mike Gilliard said he watched the upsets of Kansas State and Oregon Saturday night with a bunch of teammates.

“At the time, a bunch of us were together,” he said. “So we were all able to celebrate at the same time.”

By contrast, John Jenkins said he spent the evening “chilling” with members of his family. He said he doesn’t feel the need to follow what other teams are doing.

“I don’t want to feed into it,” the senior noseguard said. “I feel like if you feed too much into it, you start losing sight of what’s right in front of you. What’s right in front of us is Georgia Tech, so all of that will play a part when the time comes.”

Etc. . . .

Georgia’s captains for Saturday’s game are wide receiver Tavarres King, cornerback Sanders Commings, snapper Ty Frix and Williams … Jarvis Jones was named as a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award on Monday, given to the nation’s most outstanding defensive player. The other two finalists for the award are Notre Dame inside linebacker Manti Te’o and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The winner will be announced on Dec. 6.

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85 comments Add your comment

Strat Cat Dawg

November 20th, 2012
12:01 am

Jarvis Jones deserves the awards as much as Te’o, who is a fine player; but, the ND mystique will probably result in Te’o getting them.

Strat Cat Dawg

November 20th, 2012
12:02 am

But, it would be great to see them in the same game. GATA, TCD, Wreck Tech, and it’s all good.

[...] here to see the original: Notebook: Georgia’s Shawn Williams downplays effect of ’soft’ comments, keeping focus on Tech ← Back to Home Tags: bulldogs, don, georgia, monday, playing, previous, rolling, shawn [...]

tom

November 20th, 2012
12:05 am

I wish he would call Mark Richt soft. We all know he is softer than tissue paper.

gdawgs74

November 20th, 2012
12:14 am

Just shut up Tom!

Scott

November 20th, 2012
12:15 am

Yeah, tom shut your hole

[...] Notebook: Shawn Williams downplays ’soft’ comments in defensive turnaround [...]

Goatdawg

November 20th, 2012
12:24 am

Wreck tech go dawgs

Jack

November 20th, 2012
12:24 am

Don’t expect any type of letdown vs Tech….too much leadership on this team. GATA!

Grantham's The Man!

November 20th, 2012
12:26 am

Time to GATA and take care of TECH!

Go Dawgs!!!

GT Fan

November 20th, 2012
12:29 am

Maybe GT fans can send UGA linemen a box of knee braces and some kleenex’s. Them boys gonna get cut like chainsaw on Saturday.

To Hell With Georgia.

Who knows, maybe your mascot won’t keel over before the GT game this time.

dbc

November 20th, 2012
12:32 am

Yep, they’re close and they know it. I would expect Tech to be less successful than Ga. Southern. I, for one hope Notre Dame makes it to the BCS Game. For UGA, that would be a classic rematch.

Smitty

November 20th, 2012
1:05 am

not to many tech grads come back from India or China to see the games…right?

[...] more here: Notebook: Georgia’s Shawn Williams downplays his ’soft’ comments, keeps focus on Tech ← Back to Home Tags: brant, bulldogs, comments, credited, georgia, jordan jenkins, [...]

Destiny

November 20th, 2012
4:31 am

by 1pm the tech game will be decided.
Then on to the Georgia Dome

[...] here: Notebook: Georgia’s Shawn Williams downplays his ’soft’ comments, keeps focus on Tech ← Back to Home Tags: comments, defense, football, game, georgia, intercepts, john [...]

redandblack

November 20th, 2012
5:21 am

@Smitty………now that’s funny……….

Columbus Dawg

November 20th, 2012
5:30 am

If the Dawgs can play D like they did against GSU for four quarters against Tech, they will win big this week. If they can play D for four quarters against Bama like they did for the first two against LSU, they will be in Miami.

Neutral

November 20th, 2012
5:59 am

You smart a$$ Techies won’t be laughing in 5 weeks when you have a 6-8 record!!!!

Nub

November 20th, 2012
6:02 am

Shawn Williams is my hero!

[...] this article: Notebook: Georgia’s Shawn Williams downplays his ’soft’ comments, keeps focus on Tech ← Back to Home Tags: ajc, athens, brant, defense, sanderlin, tech, ty frix, williams [...]

Informed

November 20th, 2012
6:58 am

Wow, Tomas. You’re not too educated on team drug policies, are you? It’s easy to point out the drug use on the UGA football team since their policy is much less tolerant. You don’t hear about the first, second, even third offense on almost every other FBS team. Consider the “Honey Badger.” You incorrectly think that Richt is soft. His players don’t get away with anything because he isn’t soft. Think about it.

WalterEgo

November 20th, 2012
7:06 am

Thomas Broun,

Whatever else you might want to say about Richt you may be right about, but suggesting Richt is “sleazy” is downright ludicrous. This is something only an ignorant, bitter, and hateful person would say behind the anonymity of the “internets”.

Whatever Richt’s faults are regarding his players getting in trouble (i.e. recruiting some individuals with borderline character, having a big heart (or being “soft”) when it comes to his players, or the notoriously unforgiving Athens Police Department.) it is not that he is “sleazy”. I can go into how Richt paid his assistant coaches out of his own paycheck because he felt they weren’t being appropriately compensated by the University, his off-season mission work (I’m not religious and I respect this.), and just his overall calm demeanor, however, an ignorant, bitter, hateful person such as yourself would be incapable, unable, and unwilling to acknowledge this.

BigDawg

November 20th, 2012
7:22 am

Fellow Dawgs comments that this Tomás Broun made are not even worth a response. So please just ignore him as they are irrelavant. Now the Dawgs have to focus only on Tech, one game at a time and if the Dawgs play up to their ability then things will take care themselves.

Go Dawgs beat Tech

Bigdawg63

November 20th, 2012
8:05 am

Love the haters today,

No matter what you say, the dawgs are in the drivers seat and if they play like they are capable of, we will go to the biggest game and hoist that crystal ball! Suck it haters!

Go dawgs, sic em woof woof !

RMikel58

November 20th, 2012
8:05 am

CMR may not be the BEST of all college coaches but hes the most honest and caring individual in college football. Its apparent that when one comes on here throwing out dispersions on ones character then its obvious they know nothing about the guy.
If i had a son that was blessed to go to any college of his choosing and wanted to base that decision on truth, getting to play, and compettition then id pick the University of Georgia.
There are alot of coaches out there that make empty promises building up there program and when they sign that player, he finds out that hes redshirted or over booked to many signees.
Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban is notorious for that.

NCDawg

November 20th, 2012
8:35 am

Ah..you know it must be Tech week when the trolls pop up like toadstools. Quick refresher garbage can scavenger… who had to give back their ACC Championship because of NCAA sanctions? Climb back into your midden heap and stay there. Everybody complains that Coach Richt is TOO nice, TOO clean. When you can back up your accusations with facts…real facts… come back and we will talk.
Good luck… you’ll need it.

Fair n Balanced

November 20th, 2012
8:36 am

Voice of Reason – Sorry friend, your comments are not appropriate. They just aren’t.

Fair n Balanced

November 20th, 2012
8:46 am

Thomas Broun – Sorry about your miserable life man. Comments like yours come from a deeply troubled soul. Sorry man.

zbulldawg

November 20th, 2012
8:49 am

LET THE BIG DAWG EAT

NCDawg

November 20th, 2012
8:52 am

Oh and it gets even better next week… that’s when the Bama “we are the gods of football” folks will visit our boards and talk about how badly they will pound the Dawgs. They’ll throw out a bunch of useless statistics… including their fictional National Championships and use those as absolute assurance that The Tide will win. I bet they said the same things before A&M beat them about the head and shoulders.
Only a Bama fan could take a Tide detergent box and put a roll of toilet tissue on it and be proud of their cleverness. I bet a 6 year old kid thought that up. Think about it… the more you think about it the more ridiculous it gets.

BjohnDawg

November 20th, 2012
9:06 am

Tomas Brown. You seem bitter about something. Did UGA not recruit you?
You comments are laughable as UGA football as the toughest drug use policy of any school in the country.

MA English 75

November 20th, 2012
9:13 am

Tomas Broun and The Voice of Reason are only trying to stir things up. The best response to them is to IGNORE their silly, spiteful, and untrue posts. They are envious of our program. I don’t think either of them is worth arguing with. My father (UGA fan & grad) always said you can’t reason with an irrational person. Just ignore them; they can’t be reasoned with, and you’ll never change their minds.

GaTruth

November 20th, 2012
9:35 am

Tech hasn’t failed for a lack of offense. No one can deny they can score (at least against ACC opponents). It is time for the Dawgs to make a statement. If we barely win and FL loses to FSU and Oregon pounds Oregon St on the road, voters could easily vote Oregon ahead of us. We need to beat Tech like they were a bunch of booger-eating bed-wetters. Oh, wait, they are. Bwaaahaahaahaahaa!

dap01

November 20th, 2012
9:36 am

Tom: Your comments are useless dribble. You have personal issues that make you focus on idiot like remarks. CMR is a winner. What are you? You are no more than GTBlob.

dap01

November 20th, 2012
9:39 am

Tom and Tech are not is UGA or CMR league or class. Not even close. 36,000 vs 92,000, $10 tickets vs hoping to donate enough to buy tickets, Paul Johnson vs. CMR, no TV vs always on TV, 1 win vs 10 wins out of last 11 games.

No even close.

Buckeye

November 20th, 2012
9:40 am

tom brown,

Where you at?

Buckeye

November 20th, 2012
9:41 am

Who’s head will explode first?

Beaver Cleaver in a Hat Grantham or Muschump

Buckeye

November 20th, 2012
9:42 am

Doesn’t Tech run this State?

Chip Towers

November 20th, 2012
9:45 am

Tomas Broun has been blacklisted for posting under multiple names and posting false and inflammatory comments. He was also posting as “Voice of Reason” and several other handles.

Rodster

November 20th, 2012
9:46 am

Bulldogs better not look past Tech. This weeks game has all the makings of a huge upset complete with wailing and nashing of teeth from Bulldawg Nation. If UGA is focused on winning the game against Tech they should do so, no problem. But you never know what goes on between the ears of college age people, despite what the coaches tell them.

[...] original here: Notebook: Georgia’s Shawn Williams downplays his ’soft’ comments, keeps focus on Tech ← Back to Home Tags: ajc, athens, credited, defense, jordan jenkins, mike gilliard, [...]

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

November 20th, 2012
9:52 am

Shawn Williams…….Should be getting at least 1/3rd of GRANTHAM’S money since he called the team out. He deserves the Pay as much has the coach from that point on because of how the team responded.

perk

November 20th, 2012
10:09 am

thanks Chip for cleaning house!

DawgFaithful

November 20th, 2012
10:13 am

“Tomas Broun has been blacklisted for posting under multiple names and posting false and inflammatory comments. He was also posting as “Voice of Reason” and several other handles.”

Lol. Thanks Chip. That’s hilarious. He has now been black listed by EVERY SINGLE Dawg blog on the web. That takes a serious amount of Deuchieness. He makes GTBob look like unbiased CFB fan.

Put in Timeout by Ken Suguira,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

November 20th, 2012
10:25 am

Is ANY blog coming out that will be full of the TECH vs UGa Jokes we all know and make?

BILLY JACK

November 20th, 2012
10:41 am

Chip what is the worst score Georgia has beaten GT in series history???That record could be challenged this year.

GTwreckinBee

November 20th, 2012
10:48 am

See you Saturday. Really hoping your players are as overconfident as your fans. Even if we don’t win, a close game could be trouble for your BCS ranking

RMikel58

November 20th, 2012
10:51 am

Anytime theres an Inner State Rivalry its foolish to assume anything and this goes for any college teams. Even bookies are scared to predict games.
All of us know this about Ga Tech and Georgia in past games. Others just like to spout off about their team and create strife.
Both of these teams respect one another and know it will be a hard fought game. I would just save the rhetoric after the game to cast dispersions on each team because some of us will be eating “crow” after its all over.
These Inner State Rivalry Games are based mostly on momentum and emotion. Its like that when 2 SEC Teams play against eachother because its hard to determine the outcome.
Penalties and Turnovers create emotion and momentum for each team and thats usually what it comes down to.
Tech may not be as talented as we are but they just have to be better for just that 1 game to beat us.
Its who wants it more Tech or Georgia?
I assure you that they dont hate eachother like the opposing fans of each school dislike eachother and nor do the coaching staff.
Alot of these kids played eachother in highschool and some on the same team. Its fun for them to read blogs of hatred from fans and just laugh at all the things that are said.
They want to win as much or even moreso than we do but at the end of the day……….its just a game.

Dawg 13

November 20th, 2012
10:52 am

The Richt bandwagon is almost full . If you haven’t been riding it all year would you please make room so those that have can get on .